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Rising signs in astrology: What they mean, and how to find yours

Think of your rising sign as a first impression.
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

Sun, moon and rising. If you're familiar with the concept of the "big three" in astrology, then you've heard these three words.

Natal sun sign and moon signs are straightforward: They're the zodiac signs the sun and moon were in at the time of a person's birth. Rising signs are different, because they're not linked to a planet. Also called an ascendant, a rising sign is derived from the zodiac sign rising on the eastern horizon at the moment a person was born.

The rising sign is said to provide insights into our personalities, how we interact with others and the energy we project into the world. They could even determine our senses of style and aesthetic inclinations. Here's what to know about yours.

How can I find my rising sign?

To find your rising sign, you'll need your birth time and place of birth. You can input those details into a free astrology calculator, like this one, to find out your ascendant.

What does my rising sign mean?

Think of a rising sign as like the mask you wear when you first enter a room. A rising sign, according to astrology, the first traits people notice about you.

For instance, if you’re a Gemini with a Pisces rising, you might be someone who’s always lost in their thoughts and daydreaming about the future. Conversely, if you’re a Leo with a Cancer rising, you might come off as more sensitive and emotional than your fiery sun sign suggests.

The rising sign also organizes the rest of a person's birth chart. The ascendant is always in the first house. Signs proceed, from there, in counterclockwise order, filling out the rest of the 11 houses. For example, if your rising sign is in Virgo, then your second house is in Libra.

How rising signs change in each zodiac sign


Aries is the natural ruler of the first house because it's the first sign of the zodiac. This fire sign is known for its leadership qualities and is always eager to take the lead. Aries rising's independent nature makes them willing to take on new challenges without hesitation. They can be direct with others, preferring to cut to the chase and get things done quickly.


Taurus risings are known for their unwavering natures and penchants for indulgence. As fixed earth signs, they can occasionally exhibit stubbornness. Their stability and consistency in their opinions is also something to be applauded, too. Taurus risings have a keen eye for aesthetics and prefer to surround themselves with beautiful things. Despite their love for luxury, they remain grounded and derive pleasure from simple pleasures, too.


Gemini risings have active minds that are constantly generating new ideas. A Gemini rising enjoys engaging with others and exploring their sense of curiosity. These skilled communicators can adapt to any situation. Their friendly and charismatic personalities help them connect with people of all ages and backgrounds, which keeps them young at heart. They’re known for using their charm to win people over, making them a force to be reckoned with.


Cancer risings are known for their nurturing and emotional natures. Initially, they may appear shy. Unlike Cancer suns, their protective exterior is really just that — an exterior. Be patient; they will let you in. As the caregivers of the zodiac, they are always ready to offer tender insights and intuitive thoughts to their friends and family members in need of support.


Leo risings bring the party. If you need someone to liven up a room with a bit of performative flair, invite your Leo rising. They radiate generosity, playfulness and a bit of ferocity. They prefer to see things through to the end. However, they always ensure their work is seen, heard and not taken for granted. That's why they can seem a bit over-the-top at times.


Virgo risings are always watching. Virgo risings have the ability to analyze their emotions and have a knack for uncovering secrets, or the hidden dynamics of a social situation. Virgo ascendents often prefer a predictable routine. They tend to express themselves logically rather than passionately. Their goal is to carefully cultivate a specific image that exudes radiance and perfection. This entails wearing neatly pressed clothes and ensuring that everything is coordinated to create a flawless vibe.


Libra risings are known for their diplomatic, fair-minded approach. They carefully weigh their options before coming to a decision, which can sometimes make deciding anything quite difficult. Their love of luxury stems from their artistic natures and appreciation for the finer things in life. They want peace and harmony, and believe it's possible.


Scorpio risings aren't kings, but the ones who hold the power behind the throne. They possess an incredible strength, intuition and power that is unique to them. They have a remarkable ability to see through problems and resolve them quickly. When provoked, they can become quite fierce. Nevertheless, they are fiercely trustworthy to their loved ones, and they will go to great lengths to protect and defend them — even if they’re wrong.


Sagittarius risings are jovial, but also always down to engage in a sparring match. They like to challenge themselves and others, hopefully gaining knowledge in the process. They never shy away from a battle, particularly when they are in the right, and utilize their love of travel to explore the globe and learn about different cultures. Adventure is crucial for this enthusiastic rising sign, who is always embracing a lust for life.


Capricorn risings are known for their ambition, prioritizing hard work. They strive to outperform others and enjoy healthy competition. Don't try to read their minds: They tend to their emotions guarded. Capricorn risings will seek out long-term relationships due to their desire for comfort and stability. They are generally known to stick to their decisions and opinions.


Aquarius risings are renowned for their social, radical and rebellious natures. They possess unique personalities and are not afraid to take a stand high on their soapbox for their beliefs and defend those in need. They think of themselves as societal pioneers, striving to advance society and the world at large. Their eccentric and quirky behavior makes them an intriguing and refreshing presence.


Those with a Pisces rising have a remarkable intuition and can quickly read the energy of a room and the people in it. They don't know how they know things; they just do. They experience emotions deeply and quickly. Their dreamy nature allows them to indulge in fantasy and imagination. With their poetic hearts, they view life as a canvas and aspire to live in their worlds.